Posts Tagged ‘viral video’

I’ll take a story with that burrito

September 16, 2013

This Chipotle video is the latest video to “go viral” — as of this writing it has over four million hits.

It’s worth watching too full of pathos and top notch storytelling (the animation is pretty clutch too, from the folks who create Morris Lessmore and his Flying Book & Numberlys). The video is three minutes long, and I’ve already watched it four or five times. Heck, the video isn’t even for the Chipotle per se, but a trailer for their new game!

I’m not going to break down all the reasons why I think this is a great video, either you get it or you don’t. But I do think there are some important lessons you can learn from this video when thinking about your videos or ads:

1. Story matters. They build a compelling story that’s not about the brand, but is precisely about what the brand stands for. A story that shows you their values.

2. Emotions matter. Related to that first lesson, this story is right on-emotion. Imagine a video that had the same message, but maybe it was a narrator with beautiful shots of fresh produce or some other genre appropriate video. It might get the message across, but would anyone watch? And more to the point would anyone remember or believe it?

3. Production Values Matter. Maybe the most important point I could make here.  We all have had clients ask us to produce a viral video, and when we ask how much they want to spend, the amount is usually less than you’d spend on an I-Pad.

Chipotle did fall into that trap. They didn’t say well, it’s only for the web, they produced a top-notch, story with top-notch production values, and I’m guessing they spent more than some people spend on their tv ads.

4. Your story matters. Chipotle is telling your their story (anti-corporate, fresh food, maybe even anti-establishment), but what they’re trying to do is resonate with your story? Are you anti-corporate, believe in fresh food, do you want to be a conformist your whole life? By reflecting your story in theirs, the create believers, they create fans. I’ll take 1 over 10 customers any day of the week.

I love seeing videos like this one. These ads and videos are why I write this blog. Chipotle could have fallen into a trap — hey, we’re just selling burritos, so let’s give ’em a video about how great our burritos are. Instead they told a compelling story that resonates and creates fans, not bad for the price of a burrito.



Now, we’re cooking with Gas

September 29, 2010

In an earlier post, I wondered aloud why Melancon didn’t come hard after Vitter on the prostitution scandal (was there a pun in there somewhere).

Well, this isn’t a commercial for air, as it runs 2 minutes, but I think it’s pretty darn good. I love the way they parody the reality crime show genre. Also notice here how they stay with the parody the entire way through.  There’s little that feels like a political ad, they really stuck with the concept all the way through.  (I wonder if the people really wanted anonymity or if it was just part of the genre they’re parodying, in either case I think it works.)

One question is will they have the guts to put this on the air?  I can easily see the promo version of this video, next on “Forgotten Crimes…”

The real question is this too little too late, or will this be the knock out punch to Vitter.

[Editor’s Note: According to Talking Points Memo, the two minute piece is the ad, and it’s going to run on cable.]

Such a fine line between stupid and clever

July 6, 2009

Ok, I feel like I know you all well enough to admit something: one of my big pet peeves is the notion of the “viral” video. What’s my issue?

Well, two specifically:

1. The idea that viral videos are cheap, that you can produce them for $2500 and get 1,000,000 hits. There’s this notion that some college kid in his (or her) basement is pumping out viral videos for the price of a case of beer. Great, I’d like to meet them. The most successful “viral” videos are usually fully produced pieces that cost $20,000 or more to make (or get donated).

Occasionally, you catch lightening in a bottle (if you’re Will Farrell, for example), but as a general rule, the best viral videos aren’t necessarily cheaper than a televised video. The internet has lowered the cost to entry — you don’t have to pay to air your video anymore — but your audience isn’t captive either, so you better give them a sugar coating.  Which leads to….

2. You can’t make a “viral” video. You can make a good video, promote it, push it out into the world, and hope it goes viral.  But if you try too hard (or are caught trying too hard), then forget it. Someone asked me about a guarantee that their video would go viral — I said there is no such thing. Another time a client wanted to promote their pet issue, they wanted a viral video, something that would get attention, how about an interview with a sitting US Senator on the subject…?  I guessed they’d get about 500 hits, if they were lucky.

This video does as good a job of breaking down the elements that make a video go viral. It’s longish (close to 10 minutes) but worth watching when you get some time. The two elements the interviewee highlights are 1) leave room for a conversation — is it real, what’s going, did it happen, how’d they do that, and 2) a sense of whimsy or fun. Essentially, you have to engage your audience, but have fun doing it.

There are some other usual tidbits in there, so if you’re interested in viral video (and if you’re a political or any other type of campaign, you should be interested) then go watch.

And here’s a link to Visible Measures’ top 10 viral videos of the week, which is useful for inspiration as well as seeing what you’re up against out there.

As you watch the videos on the list, just remember what the immortal David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap said: “There’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”

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